Hitting the road with little ones in tow can bring a big change in perspective. That romantic hotel room with a stocked mini bar and king-sized bed? Try snoozing next to a squirmy seven-year-old who just raided the soda supply. Thankfully, there is a growing crop of family-friendly alternatives when it comes to finding a place for the whole clan to crash. Whether road tripping across the USA or taking the whole family further afield, these sites will help you find your dream home-away-from-home in no time flat.
Kid and Coe
For those who want a break not just from the daily grind, but from thier less-than-perfectly designed real life, Kid and Coe is for you. From Berkeley to Barbados, the site lists hundreds of gorgeous homes that are kitted out with cribs, highchairs, even baby-proofed Eames coffee tables. The site and its offerings are high on style and sure to inspire wanderlust in travelers big and small, but it’s the extras—curated, kid-focused guides to the neighborhoods, shelves stocked with children’s books—that will turn your family trip into a true holiday. From a woodsy residence in Sonoma that has a kid-friendly climbing wall installed into the rear of the house to this uber-stylish London flat (below), there are dozens of houses around the world to drool over. For more info, go to kidandcoe.com.
photo credit: Kid and Coe
Family Holiday Home Swap
This is the choice for the clan with well-worn passports. The home swap has long been an economical way to explore a new city—forget pricey pay-per-night rooms, just trade keys with a willing homeowner from your city of choice and jumpstart your vacation. This new site is aimed directly at families, with a focus on matching users with homes filled with kid essentials, from cots to car seats to a fleet of family bikes. The site is based in Australia and is currently heavy on local listings, but there are also properties in Indonesia, England, India, France and Spain (the sole US listing is in Las Vegas). This villa is Bali (below) has it all: exotic thatched roof, beautiful—and durable—Balinese furniture and, of course, a pool. Nearby excursions include snorkeling, waterfalls, hot springs and ancient temples. For more info, go to familyholidayhomeswap.com.
photo credit: Family Holiday Home Swap
Enamored with Italy? Plan your dream vacation at ciaobambino.com—or just click through and become increasingly envious of the globetrotting life of its author and creator and her well-traveled brood. The site offers family-vacation-planning services (for a fee) but visitors can also browse lists of hotels, resorts, and private home rentals with detailed, family-focused reviews and even ratings on appropriate ages for each place. You can request availability directly from the site (free), and one of Ciao Bambino’s family vacation consultants will even follow up to make sure you have everything you need to arrange your own little slice of la dolce vida. This 800-year-old residence in Umbria offers seemingly endless green space for the kids to get their car crazies out and explore, as well as a pool. Head into town for the Oriveto Underground tour and explore the caves dug into the rock beneath the streets. For more info, go to ciaobambino.com.
photo credit: Ciao Bambino
Good to Know: Families are rarely a quiet bunch, and the popular home rental services have heard their demands for kid-friendly options loud and clear. Airbnb, Lovehouseswap, and VRBO have all recently added kid-or –family-friendly wishlists and search options.
Have you used one of these AirBnb alternatives?